Bird flu spreading from mammals to humans increasingly worrying, experts warn

Bird flu experts fear we are sleepwalking into disaster with more than half of folk dying after catching the disease.

Of the 860 known human cases of avian flu since 2003, 53% have died, a British Medical Journal study found.

Dr Quinton Fivelman, of London Medical Lab, fears we are becoming “used to outbreaks on poultry farms” while the rising virus spread from bird to mammals was incredibly worrying.

READ MORE: New pandemic fears as girl, 11, dies as deadly bird flu jumps from mammals to humans

Dr Fivelman said: “The fact that it is now spreading to mammals shows we cannot let our guard down against this virus. The higher number of cases mean a greater chance of mutation. It’s concerning there is no vaccine as yet.”

The first human cases were recorded in Hong Kong and China in 1997.

It comes as we reported a a girl had died from bird flu, confirming the worst fears of scientists who predicted it could jump from mammals to humans just last month.

The sad death of the 11-year-old was reported in Cambodia earlier today (Thursday, February 23).

The girl first became ill just six days before her death, and suffered from a fever, cough and sore throat.

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Her death was confirmed by the country's Communicable Disease Control Department, who said that the girl from the Prey Veng province “tested positive for H5N1”.

As a result, the World Health Organization has said: "The recent spillover to mammals needs to be monitored closely."

The news comes just a weeks after we reported that it was found that a deadly strain of the avian bird flu had mutated and can now impact mammals.

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Scientists had found that the avian flu had been transmitted from wild birds to a group of mink on a farm in the Spanish city of La Coruna.

The study, published on top infectious disease surveillance website Euro Surveillance, stated that the outbreak happened in Spain in October 2022.

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